Flacco talks on the fast track

OWINGS MILLS -- Rookie quarterback Joe Flacco is in no danger of being late for training camp as the Baltimore Ravens have already launched preliminary contract negotiations with the first-round draft pick. Joe Linta, Flacco's agent, began discussions with team officials, including chief negotiator Pat Moriarty, on Monday at the Ravens' training complex.

Drafted 18th overall, Flacco is expected to receive a five-year contract.

"It's not early as much as it is being prudent," Linta said in a telephone interview Tuesday night. "You try to find some common ground. The earlier you start, the easier it is to get things done. The feeling I got around the building is they all seem to be very excited about him."

The Ravens are scheduled to report to training camp July 21 in Westminster, and the plan is to have Flacco signed and in camp on time so he can compete for the starting job with Kyle Boller and Troy Smith.

Linta has had only one holdout ever. In 1995, tight end Kyle Brady missed the first few days of the New York Jets' training camp.

On July 23, 2006, another Linta client, Cleveland Browns outside linebacker Kamerion Wimbley, became the second first-round draft pick to agree to terms that. Drafted 13th overall, Wimbley signed a six-year contract with a maximum value of $23.7 million that included $9.3 million in guaranteed money.

Last season, Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Leon Hall was the 18th overall pick and signed a five-year contract worth $13.1 million with slightly over $8 million in guaranteed money.

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.

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